If you’re looking to save a little bit of money while improving your home, then you might elect to go down the DIY route. Going DIY saves the expense of bringing in a professional tradesperson. Moreover, it makes it possible to make progress without bringing people into your home – which, in an age of Covid-19, might be a risk you don’t want to take. We also shouldn’t discount the fact that a DIY project can provide fun and satisfaction, as well as a means of learning a new skill.
With that said, DIY can also be a hazardous enterprise. Of the two thousand people recently surveyed by the National Accident Helpline, a leading provider of personal injury advice and support, almost three quarters claimed to have injured themselves multiple times in the past year. Drills, lawnmowers and hammers were among the causes cited – thus we can say with some certainty that DIY can be a hazardous business.
The National Accident Helpline survey found that 21% of those surveyed had injured themselves while on a ladder. If the ladder is leaning against the side of a house, then the consequences of a fall could be disastrous. Gutter-cleaning, window-sealing, roof-patching – these are tasks made dangerous by the involvement of ladders.
If you’ve got a tree on your property that needs taming, you might be tempted to deal with it yourself. But since every tree is slightly different, experience makes a difference when it comes to pruning things back. Moreover, the heavy equipment (chainsaws) you’ll need to deal with more substantial branches can pose a threat to life if handled improperly.
If asbestos is discovered in your home, then don’t attempt to remove it yourself. Doing so safely requires specialised equipment and expertise – and disposal of the stuff is tightly regulated. Asbestos can cause cancer, as well as a raft of other diseases, so don’t take any chances.
A significant portion of all accidents involving gas are a result of faulty installation. Even if you can solder together some respectable-looking pipework, the smallest flaw can cause flammable gas to leak in your home.
It might seem like a simple task. You’ve got a partition wall separating two spaces, and you’d like to get rid of it so you can have a single open-plan area. What could be simpler? Of course, if you’re not sure which walls are actually load-bearing, then breaking out the sledgehammer could actually lead to structural disaster.
Some simple electrical tasks can be performed without the help of a professional electrician. Consequently, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that mains electricity can kill you. Moreover, if you get it wrong, you could cause a fire. According to Electrical Safety First, there are 14,186 electrical fires in the UK every year – which account for more than half of all fires.